Toyota and the power of suggestion

Creative Ideas and Suggestions 01

Toyota’s desire to put the customer first and achieve the highest levels of quality in vehicle production has been a company-wide philosophy from day one. A programme called Statistical Quality Control was introduced as early as 1949, and in May 1951 was expanded to include a new concept called the Toyota Creative Idea and Suggestion System (TCISS).

The purpose of the TCISS was to empower every employee to participate in improving product quality by inviting them to make informed suggestions on ways to improve the production process. Previously it had only been the privilege of upper management to make suggestions in that respect, but was now opened up to include employees at the sharp end of production; arguably the ones most likely to highlight potential issues.

Extra motivation was incorporated into the system with the establishment of an Individual Annual Award to honour excellent suggestions, today split up into gold, silver and bronze medals like a form of internal Olympics. However, the real value of the system was that it provided motivation to employees by focusing on their skills and creativity.

Indeed, the slogan Good Thinking, Good Products was solicited by an in-house TCISS contest in 1953 and still appears as a highly visible sign in every Toyota factory across the globe.

As the years have passed, the system has become steadily more productive. By 1974, the number of creative idea submissions had exceeded one million; 10 million by 1984 and 20 million by 1988. The incredible milestone of 40 million ideas was reached in 2011 and continues to rise.

With so many individuals providing informed input and a human touch (see video below) into the build quality of every vehicle, is it any wonder that Toyota’s products are world-renowned for their quality, reliability and durability?

[youvid embded=’t’ vid=’cSmx2ArUzSg’]


  1. India looking for Sunroof in Fortuner. Reason why Ford endeavour increasing sales. With BS6 new engine sun roof should be launched in India.

  2. I have a suggestion to help attack fires explosion more efficiently in vehicles. How do I make this and secure the credit if taken? I am Idowu Adeoye from Nigeria. I have witnessed cases of fire explosion in vehicles in my country and thought of a solution.

  3. I have a C-HR and it would be great to see something like a Toyota RAV4 Prime Coupe. Competition for the Mercedes GLC, GLE and BMW X4, X6 would show that you can make better cars.

  4. Can you consider developing a pick up based on the toyota landcruiser prado and brand it as probably hilux xd. Im sure it would sell well since its a very popular base, bridging the benefits of the landcruiser prado and a pick up

  5. I would love to have a car fitted with retractable covers on the roof: Front, back and sides.
    Imagine just pulling the covers down, hooking them place and not having to think about storing them or struggling to get them on or off.
    Covers made out of something that can withstand all weathers and be wiped clean.
    With smart hoods that blend into the bodywork of the car, of course.

    1. Further thought: they could be embedded into the roof, flat and blended in and pop up with the use of a button inside the car that only works when the car is parked.

      1. Hi Amanda,
        Thanks for getting in touch. That’s certainly an interesting idea!
        We’ll make sure to pass your innovative idea on to the relevant team.

  6. I have a suggestion for future ev vehicles.
    The heating of the interior of those vehicles can be realised by using fuels, I strongly suggest to promote this solution to main design offices.

  7. I’ve bought Toyota Yaris Verso 1.3 VVT-i two years ago, it is actually my first car ever. It’s an awesome spacious car, however since we are striving towards electric car, and a lot of toyotas from different years have same engines(1.0,1.3,1.5 VVT-i, and 1.4,2.0,2.2 d4d, etc) it should be possible to turn our cars into electric cars on a global level. It should be done in registered toyota centers and on massive scale it should lower the cost. For example upgrade kit for my car should have electric engine with or without gearbox that has engine mounts for 1.3L vvti engine, and same electric motor can be used in all versions that use same engine. Batteries should replace petrol tank, and if needed some of them could be mounted in engine bay. Now this is probably not even remotely possible, but if we want to move from ICE to electric power, this could be step forward into a recycling/upcycling older vehicles.

  8. I had an idea for something called a “Retro Day”.
    Where Toyota or any car company would pull one of their iconic cars from the pass and add things like Bluetooth radios, Seat heaters…etc.without losing the well known looks of the vehicle.

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